Bolivian footballers reject national team call-up for Copa America

La Paz, April 7 (IANS) Players from at least eight of the 12 teams in the Bolivian football league have announced they will not participate in the 2016 Copa America Centennial alleging that they are forced to play for the national team without respect for local clubs.

The tournament will be held in the United States in June, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to Mexican sports daily La Aficion, David Paniagua, legal advisor to Bolivia’s Football Player Association (FABOL), said on Wednesday the players signed a make-or-break statement and rejected any sanctions for them not answering the call of the national team.

“The rights of the players include the fact that if they renounce to the national team before they are called, they will not be sanctioned,” said Paniagua.

The players that signed the resignation statement are from local clubs including Club Petrolero, San Jose, Nacional Potosi, Real Potosi, Blooming, Oriente Petrolero, Sports Boys and Universitario.

Players from Wilstermann, Ciclon, The Strongest and Bolivar have so far not announced their decision.

This week, FABOL leaders will meet with these four clubs to know if they will join the move.

Bolivia is to participate in the 2016 Copa America Centennial, to be held from June 3 to 26 in ten cities of the United States.

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